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Golf advocate seeks improvements at Kentland Golf Training Center


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Courtesy photo. A spokeswoman for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission said concerns about the course will be addressed in the spring, tee mats are expected to be replaced, and green maintenance to be updated.

Courtesy photo. A spokeswoman for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission said concerns about the course will be addressed in the spring, tee mats are expected to be replaced, and green maintenance to be updated.

Published on: Tuesday, December 15, 2009

By Nancy Royden

Since “going green” is in, Anthony W. Better is wondering when his favorite golf course in the county is going to get on board – at least in color.

You see, Better is a big golf fan, and he regularly takes  his grandchildren  golfing at several courses in Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C.

Several weeks ago, he took them to the Kentland Golf Training Center on Pinebrook Avenue in Landover – now closed for the winter – and he said he was highly concerned about the condition of the greens.

Photo by Nancy Royden.

Photo by Nancy Royden.

The facility consists of three par 3 golf holes with synthetic greens. It also includes a driving range, a practice putting green, a starter’s building and a storage building, he said.

“My son and I accompanied my three granddaughters to the [Prince George’s] Youth Golf Training Center so that they could play a round of golf. To my dismay, The Maryland-Capital Park and Planning Commission/Prince George’s County has allowed the Youth Golf Training Center to deteriorate to the point that the facility is a health hazard and unsuitable for youth to learn or play golf,” he wrote in a letter of concern mailed to The Sentinel.

Better said the condition of the course has been a concern for him for at least two years. Additionally, he said the course is located in an area of the county where those who would like to play golf can least afford it.

“My grandkids are into it and I support the youth program,” he said about his beloved sport.

Better’s concerns include natural green growing through the synthetic putting green of each golf hole, a “total lack of maintenance” of the synthetic putting green on each hole and bird droppings on the synthetic putting green of each hole.

Anita Pesses, public affairs officer for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, said the organization is getting ready to rebuild at the facility, and there is a development plan for the whole property.

Pesses said concerns about the course will be addressed in the spring and tee mats are expected to be replaced, and green maintenance to be updated.

Pesses said planning for work on the golfing facility will be re-evaluated during the winter and this is done annually. Weather dependent work will be completed in the late winter or early spring.

The golf facility is expected to open in late April.

Long-range planning includes construction of a new building on the property for a community center, with the current community center's ballroom on the upper level remaining in use. However, she said the long-range plans are not definitive and M-NCPPC employees have been working with members of the community to see how they would like the facility to be utilized.

According to Pesses, the course is part of The First Tee, and instruction is offered for all golfing levels. She said she is glad Better takes the time to introduce his grandchildren to golf and utilize the organization’s facilities.

The First Tee National School Program is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation and is designed to introduce children to the game of golf and The First Tee Nine Core Values, including confidence, respect, judgment, responsibility, sportsmanship, courtesy, honesty, integrity and perseverance, according to The First Tee’s Web site.

According to M-NCPPC’s Web site, the youth training center in Kentland was funded partially by a grant from the United States Golf Association and is located adjacent to the Prince George’s Ballroom and Kentland Community Center. It is located on the site of the former Prince George’s County Country Club.

In the 1950s, the golf course had been a top-notch course, Pesses said.

The center in Kentland includes more than 100 acres of rolling green parkland. Inside the center are three meeting rooms, a game room, a fitness room, a pre-school room and meeting room, a kitchen and offices.

Outdoor facilities there, other than the golf amenities, are: two lighted tennis courts, a lighted softball field, a football field, a play field, a picnic pavilion, play equipment, two unlighted basketball courts and one lighted basketball court.

The golf course closed in October, but others in the county are open year-round. The greens at Kentland are approximately 10 years old, Pesses said.

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